Most rational people: “Today’s SCOTUS is not even remotely reflective of the United States of America, is that a problem?”
Conservative white male Heritage Foundation Horde: “Not at all!”
But, of course, it is…
To be honest, I don’t see that many people other than fanatical conservatives who really pay attention to judge races.
However, they SHOULD, because the judiciary branch should be of just as much interest as the other two branches, but I’ve found many voters don’t realize that they actually vote on state Supreme Court, and local judge races.
Many countries think it’s insane that America elects our judges, and that they have to campaign. Obviously, there’s a clear conflict of interest in having a judge literally having to raise money to run for elections. BUT judge appointments are hardly better.
McConnell especially has made politicization of the federal court system his singular focus. It’s practically all the man cares about. If an ALEC lobbyist lived inside Mitch McConnell and just wore his skin as a suit, it wouldn’t surprise me.
But WHY is it bad that today’s SCOTUS doesn’t reflect America?
If Handmaid’s Tale is appointed, that means 7 out of 9 judges are Catholic. America is two-thirds Protestant, but we don’t have a single Protestant on the court. [It’s unclear if Gorsuch considers himself Episcopalian or Catholic now, but he was raised Catholic.]
But between all the Jewish and Catholic judges, we don’t have a single atheist or agnostic on the court. Non-religious people are a BIGGER group than Catholics and Jewish people combined, but we haven’t had representation on the SCOTUS…ever.
Judges like Scalia (when he was alive), Alito, Thomas, etc. are obscurantist, hyper-Catholic old farts that live in a bubble and are extremely “weird,” not to mention disconnected from the average American–the vast majority of whom support a woman’s right to choose. [It’s been legal for nearly 50 years, and the entirety of my lifetime.]
People say “what does that have to do with anything? What is the relevance to them knowing much about the way Americans live? That’s not the constitution!”
But the constitution was always meant to be a breathing, adaptable document that wasn’t set in stone back when women were being burned alive for having a weird birth mark. [I think Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Adams, etc. would be horrified that we’re still treating it as sacred text where not a word can change in an age of 335 million Americans and nuclear weapons.] There’s supposed to be a constitutional convention every so often, but you’ve seen how that’s turned out, since the last Constitutional Convention was 1789.
And it’s not right that the highest court in the land doesn’t know much about the citizens affected by the laws it “interprets.” To me, this is relevant information, and lower court law is entirely shaped by what is and isn’t realistic given human nature.
It’s why trespassers are not executed, whereas the Bible says maybe they should be. And laws have always been changed (slavery, segregation, divorce, custody, harassment, criminal) given how society changes, and realistic societal norms.
Today’s court would take the view that because the constitution does not explicitly forbid slavery—quite the opposite—perhaps we should leave it “as the founders intended.”